Massachusetts is home to popular coastal cities and rural towns emanating a friendly New England vibe. You can ring in the new year at a dance club in the bustling city of Boston, or opt for a low-key celebration in the Northampton area. When spending New Year’s Eve in the Bay State, consider these eight locations when booking your Massachusetts vacation rental. Check out fun festivities and events in cities and towns across Massachusetts.
Boston leads the way in Massachusetts for its New Year’s Eve parties and events that range from the family-friendly to adult-only. Boston’s First Night is a festival that has a parade down Boylston Street, midnight fireworks, Copley Countdown with pyrotechnics, ice sculptures, and live entertainment. Get outside with the family with the Winter on the Wharf Event featuring ice skating, cookies, and hot cocoa. If that doesn’t tickle your fancy, then maybe Bessie’s New Years Eve Pajama Dance Party at Children’s Discovery Museum does. As an added bonus, it ends early with a noon celebration, so you can go out with the adults later. Once you’re out with your friends, consider going to one of Boston’s theme parties, such as the Timeless 007 at the Castle or a formal celebration. The New Year’s Eve Blues soiree offers sultry music, food, and an extensive wine list. Celebrate the new year by going old school and viewing 1940’s movies at the Brattle Theatre.
Nestled on the northeastern-most tip of Massachusetts with a tiny population, Rockport might be located on the Atlantic Ocean just like Boston, but it has different New Year’s Eve options. The entire town goes all out with its New Year’s Eve celebration. There are 79 performances in 16 different venues throughout the downtown area. Live music is just one of the acts offered. There are also comedy shows, story telling, 10-minute plays, and puppet shows – a little something for everyone in the family.
Chatham’s First Night New Year’s Eve Celebration combines noonday parties with late night fireworks. Start at the Chatham Lighthouse for the midday Town Photo, and take the opportunity to explore the historic building. Then watch, and listen to, the Noise Parade that winds through downtown. Enjoy live entertainment, from theater acts to music and dancing, and watch the Rock n’ Roll Race. The Carnival Caper, a costumed race, is only one of the events you can participate in personally. There’s also laser tag and the Bubble Wrap Stomp. Charge your batteries with grub at the many local restaurants and food trucks that offer a range of food, including Italian at the First Congregational Church of Chatham and barbecue at Porky’s. There are two fireworks displays, one that occurs at midnight along with the Countdown Cod, a giant fish that drops to begin the new year.
Worcester’s First Night New Year’s Eve Celebration is another town-wide event that has dancing, live music, magic shows, puppet shows, theater, and storytelling. You can stay through the whole shebang to see the midnight fireworks, or you can retire your kids early and continue partying with your significant other. The Bull Mansion offers a four-course meal and champagne toast at midnight, while the Lincoln Ballroom does that in addition to live entertainment. If you want to party with your friends, opt for the Girls Night Out Event, an exclusive affair with cocktails and live music.
Northampton, in central Massachusetts just west of Amherst, has all sorts of family-friendly events including a New Year’s Eve party. This 12-hour festival is a combination of music, art, and drama with a Holiday Party performance by SHOW Circus Studio, theater shows at Paintbox Theatre and the John M. Greene Hall, and drama performances just for kids by the Valley Light Opera. There are magicians, jugglers, street performers, and live music. The night begins with a fireworks display and culminates in a ball rise.
A vacation rental in Salem means access to the LAUNCH! New Year’s Eve event, a perfect family activity with hat-making for the kids. They can then wear their hats at the early countdown. There is also kids’ silent disco, interactive art exhibits, and photo booths where you can take a cheesy family picture. After tucking the kids into bed, you know where to go in Salem for your adult fun: back to the downtown area. The LAUNCH! event becomes a LAUNCH…LIGHT IT UP event just for adults. The party offers a Black Lights Dance Hall, live music performances, arcade games, a cash bar, and a midnight countdown.
In Chicopee, the Fairview Knights of Columbus offer a casino night. Take this opportunity to dress up in your little black dress and show off your moves. Start with a little gambling; there are roulette tables, games, raffles, and cash wheels available. Enjoy a five-course meal while watching a dinner show, then burn off those calories with dancing and live entertainment.
Holyoke caters to children and families with its annual First Night Jr. celebration at the Holyoke Heritage State Park. Each year features a different theme, giving the kids an opportunity to dress up. They can ride on the merry-go-round, explore the children’s museum, do crafts, and dance to live music. Maggie the Clown arrives to entertain the kids. The event also has educational overtones with Mad Science experiments that are fun and teach as well. If that’s not enough, there are zoo animals and ice sculptures.
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